Temple takes down La Salle in a dominant defensive game
(PHILADELPHIA, PA) The Owls 17 point first half differential seemed too much for the Explorers to come back from, as Temple came out victorious 73-57.
Although finishing with their biggest win of the season, lead scorer Khalif Battle went down with an apparent right leg injury with roughly 12 minutes left in the game. Battle headed to the locker room with 22 points and four rebounds on a fantastic 7-13 from the field.
A couple hours after the game, it was reported that Battle will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his fifth metatarsal in his foot. Averaging 21.4 points coming into tonight (14th in the nation), this is a huge blow offensively for the Owls.
Khalif Battle (0) on the ground receiving medical attention after breaking his foot
For the first time this season, freshman starter Damian Dunn shot above 50% from the field, and it was well needed. He scored 16 points on 7-11 from the field, and was unguardable within 15 feet from the basket.
After hearing about the severity of Khalif's injury, Damian talked about how the load offensively doesn’t just fall on him, but rather the team as a whole.
“It’s on not only me but him (Jake Forrester), our captain Jeremiah Williams, and I think we are ready. We're deep, so we're always with that next man up mentality.”
After battling through adversity in his minutes recently, Jake Forrester in a season-high 22 minutes put up 12 points and eight boards. Forrester is exceptional at getting positioning inside against other bigs, it’s more so about if Jeremiah and Damian can feed him the ball.
Freshman Hysier Miller received his career high in minutes today and capitalized. His pick-and-roll IQ is excellent, as he always made the correct read in given situations. In 16 minutes he scored three points and added one assist, but as a freshman backup he controlled the offense very well as the team didn’t lose a step with Jeremiah on the bench.
Jeremiah had one of his college Russell Westbrook/Dejounte Murray type performances with seven points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and one block. The most impressive aspect from this game, even with that stat line, was his ability to shoot. He was taking shots, including a corner three he converted early in the first with no hesitation. He’s showing more confidence each game in his shooting ability, and by conference play teams should start playing more up on him defensively.
Temple played incredible defense tonight, holding La Salle to just 25% from the field and 21.4% from three. La Salle head coach Ashley Howard talked about his team's shot selection after the game.
“I actually thought our shot selection was good. It’s one of those things where you are watching the game, and the other team is making the same shots you are missing.”
One player that was extremely disruptive defensively for Temple was freshman Jahlil White. Although defensively only accumulating one block, he was switching onto all positions, disrupting passing lanes, and stopping the Explorers from getting into any rhythm defensively. On the other side of the floor, he shot a rough 1-5 from the field, with his one basket being a huge and one layup with 7:30 left in the game. With the injury of Khalif, Coach McKie will look to utilize their 6’8 guard more in the future.
Jahlil White (2) attempting a shot over Mamadou Doucoure (14)
Starter Damian Dunn also loves Jahlil’s game as him and other players postgame mentioned how great of an all around player he is.
“He is so gifted, just all around physically, him being as big and as athletic as he is to be able to put it on the floor. Then being able to guard at the other end is a weapon that goes unnoticed sometimes. We know his value and what he brings to the table and how much he helps us, so we appreciate Jahlil.”
Temple plays their first game of the season without Khalif Battle this Saturday, December 4th against the 3-7 Pennsylvania Quakers at the Liacouras Center.